Corinne Bailey Rae is readying her next album Black Rainbows for release this September. It’s an experience we’re looking forward to because we love the singer-songwriter and because she threw us a big curveball with her single “New York Transit Queen.” The punk rock turn seemingly came out of nowhere, but she’s leaning even more into it with the song’s video.
The song takes inspiration from a vintage photo of Miss New York Transit pageant winner Audrey Smaltz, who exhibited a wild, freewheeling spirit. “Audrey Smaltz’s song became a riot grrrl punk song because she has this playful, hellraiser look in her eye,” Corinne said in a press release. “The sexy or domestic would be reimagined as powerful/tough/sexy/outside of male gaze flyers for all girl band nights.”
She channels that energy into the clip, which focuses on a young woman in New York City as we go through a day in her life. We see her get up, get ready, ride her skateboard and, of course, rock out with Corinne during a raucous show at The Bowery Electric. After she rocks out ’til she clocks out, she hops a turnstile and catches the train before ending her night in one of the city’s parks with a view of the skyline.
The video, like the song, is a short and sweet ode to the type of girl who knows herself and isn’t afraid to go against the grain. We can only imagine that the rest of Black Rainbows will take her in a similar direction upon its release on September 15th. Watch Corinne Bailey Rae rock out in “New York Transit Queen” when you press play below.